Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Leave a Comment
Print this Article

Fairfax County police shoot Alexandria man

An Alexandria man remains in critical condition after being shot April 9 by a Fairfax County police officer.

Police said they were called to a home in the 6600 block of Thurlton Drive in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County that day around 4 p.m. for a report of a “possible suicidal subject.”

Police said officers arrived and encountered a 37-year-old man, who “displayed what appeared to be a weapon in a threatening manner” and was subsequently shot by an unidentified police officer. Fairfax County Police do not immediately disclose the names of officers involved in shootings. Police have not disclosed the man’s name.

Police said they performed CPR until Fairfax County Fire and Rescue arrived and the man was subsequently transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

No officers were injured during the incident. Police said officers involved in the incident will be placed on routine administrative leave as the department begins parallel criminal and administrative investigations.

Firefighters uncover body in Fair Oaks

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department officials say Fairfax man’s body was discovered Sunday in the Fair Oaks area.

According to fire officials, firefighters responded to a brush fire on Sunday shortly after noon near the intersection of Lee Jackson Memorial Highway and Fairfax County Parkway.

Firefighters said they encountered grass, brush and several trees on fire near the eastbound ramp of Lee Jackson Highway to the Fairfax County Parkway upon their arrival, and quickly brought the fire under control. After it was out, officials said firefighters discovered the body of an adult male.

“The body was in the fire,” said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt.

The body was later identified as Handel Victor Stephens-Dowd, 24, of Leafcrest Lane in Fairfax, but fire officials have not yet determined how Stephens-Dowd died. “The medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death following an autopsy,” he said.

Former teacher convicted on child porn charges

Robert Fenn, 27, of Herndon, a former special education teacher at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly, was convicted Thursday by a federal jury of receiving and possessing child pornography.

Fenn was convicted of one count of receipt of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; and one count of possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Fenn was taken into custody following his conviction and will remain in custody pending his sentencing, which is scheduled for June 21.

On Thursday, Lt. Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Acting Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the conviction announcement.

Fenn was originally arrested on related state charges in June 2012. International sharing of child pornography images via the Internet led to the federal charges.

According to court records and evidence at trial, Fenn was identified through an international initiative originated with Italian law enforcement that investigated a website offering access to pornographic child images and video files. The website was hosted in the United States and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations obtained Internet records showing each Internet account that accessed the website and the specific images each account accessed.

Court records state that Fenn taught special education at Poplar Tree Elementary School in Chantilly and gave private music lessons to children in their homes. Fenn admitted an interest in girls between the ages of nine and 14, which corresponded to the ages of the victims of child pornography depicted in images and videos found on Fenn’s computers and external hard drives.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations’ Child Exploitation Section in the Washington Field Office and the Fairfax County Police Department.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Police warn of tax fraud

As annual tax returns are being calculated and submitted in a last-minute furor across the country, Fairfax County police say they have received dozens of reports of tax identification fraud in recent weeks. Police say that taxpayers don’t discover they’ve been victimized until after they file their tax returns and are told that the IRS has already received and documented their returns. Often confused and perplexed, victims are told to contact the Financial Crimes Investigative unit to report the matter and that their social security numbers have been stolen or compromised. Victims must then handle the arduous process of clearing up the financial mess.

Detectives stress that while there is little that can be done locally to track suspects in these cases, education and prevention are key factors that can help prevent identity theft and have issued the following precautions:

• Limit the occasions you share your social security number with others.

• Do not voluntarily give your social security to others.

• Closely monitor your credit reports to catch potential fraud early.

• Closely monitor your children’s credit reports as well, thieves are known to steal children’s social security numbers.

• Virginia residents can have a customer identifier on their driver’s license in lieu of their social security number.

• Shred all personal information at home prior to trash disposal.

• Opt out of pre-approved credit applications by calling 888-567-8688.

Fairfax man pleads guilty to child exploitation

Douglas Lee Payne Jr., 31, of Fairfax pleaded guilty in federal court April 8 to three child exploitation related charges.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Lt. Colonel James A. Morris, Acting Fairfax County Chief of Police made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

According to court documents, Payne pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, which each carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years and a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison. Court records say the sentence has been enhanced due to a prior conviction of using a computer to solicit a minor in Fairfax County. Payne also pleaded guilty to one count of attempted enticement of a minor, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 5.

According to court documents, during the investigation of a Fairfax County probation violation in December 2011, electronic communications between Payne and a minor victim in Indiana and another minor victim in Pennsylvania were discovered. In these text messages and online chats, Payne requested that the minor victims send him nude images of themselves. Payne also instructed the minor females on how to pose in various sexually revealing positions. Payne possessed at least one child pornography image of each minor victim which they had sent in response to his request. Payne and the minor victim located in Indiana also had specific conversations about Payne going to Indiana and having sex with her there. On Dec. 28, 2011, while Payne was on his way to Indiana, he was instructed to return home for a meeting with his Fairfax County probation officer.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epdemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit